Jack Wiebers Islay Malt Locomotive Breath

Islay Malt Jack Wiebers.jpg

Thanks to /u/Throzen for bringing to this to the end of the year tasting.

I grew up around train artwork. It was everywhere in my house. Why? Because my father worked for a railroad. And if he had worked for four more he’d do better in Monopoly.

Thus it’s interesting that during the tasting we had the chance to try two of the Locomotive Breath series, a series that is only sold in the Canadian and Asian markets. What’s the Asian market? I don’t 100% know. Maybe it’s Russia, maybe it’s Japan.

Joking aside, it’s quite nice to have a bottle with a train on the side, as it has some nostalgia for me.

In addition to the nice label, Jack Wiebers Islay Malt Locomotive Breath was brought out to celebrate 20 years of the company, Jack Wiebers Whisky World. A world I think we all want to live in.

So what is this? From reading about it, this is a NAS single cask from an undisclosed distillery. While I’ve heard enough rumours to say it’s probably Lagavulin for another Jack Wiebers product, I haven’t heard enough about this one.

So this maybe Lagavulin, train themed malt is the last of the tasting, and we’re expecting some peat to close it all out. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Islay

Cask Finish: Sherry

Outrun: 120 bottles

Abv: 53.7%

Colour: 5YR 3/8

Nose: Raspberry jam while it boils, grape leaf, brine, coffee, leather

If you’ve never had the chance to make jam (and that’s not a euphemism), then you’re missing out. It’s a good way to use up old fruit and also has a great smell. That’s the first nose on this, and it’s quite prominent.

Eventually more of a musty leaf, coffee, and leather notes. Water opens it up quite a bit.

Taste: Cocoa, raspberry, macadamia nut, cola, peat

Initial cocoa/raspberry combination that used to come in Terry’s Oranges around here until it turns out I was the only one buying them.

Not that I’m bitter about that.

Less complex, less coffee, and less leather on the taste then the nose. It’s a bit of a step down. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some nice combinations here, however it’s not paying the debts of the nose.

Finish: Grape, herbal, anise, pecan, dry apple, brine

Big sherry influence at the end, all dry nuts and spice and herbal notes. It’s dry, finishes well, and is the kind of dram you’d have after the meal. Or maybe mid meal. Why not both? We enjoy whisky, after all.

Conclusion: Overall the dram is unbalanced to sherry. I feel like they may have wanted to pull it a few years earlier and leave it in a ex-bourbon cask to cut back on some of it, as we’ve lost some of the whisky aspects from the nose to the taste. That wonderful coffee/leather combination that comes from sherry in whisky after a long time is only there on the nose.

After that it’s a lot of raspberry. Some cocoa from the peated malt, though by the finish it’s all wine influence.

That may work for people more than me. I’ve been given heck for that recently. However this feels unbalanced, so it loses points for me.

82/100

Scotch review #809, Islay review #192, Whisky Network review #1320

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